I’m always on the lookout for new and innovative sports supplements. Lately I’ve been on the lookout for a quality pre workout drink. Normally, I’m pretty picky about what I put into my body when it comes to my pre workout drink (I have to make sure I get exactly what I need). I’m at a point in my lifting career that I just can’t show up to the gym with no preparation and expect to have a productive session. I plan each and every one of my workouts to be productive so that I’m always moving forward and improving from week to week. When it comes to my pre workout rituals I generally follow the same type of pattern that works for me. Generally;
Ideally I want to feel energized with a sense of excitement for my workout without being too stimulated (from caffeine). In the past I found some great pre workout supplements that worked absolute wonders for me. My go to pre workout supplement has been caffeine free Dymatize Xpand which worked absolute wonders for me. It had just the right amount of active ingredients to help me excel in my workouts. However, for whatever reason GNC and my other local health food stores stopped carrying it.
After talking with my local GNC sales representative he recommended that I try Athletic Alliance Rocket pre workout drink. After taking a look at the ingredients I was pleasantly surprised with some of the listings. The main ingredients included (per 10 gram scoop):
I’m a stickler for having creatine in my pre workout drinks so this one fit the bill perfectly. In addition the Rocket formula was about as close to the Dymatize Xpand formula as I could find.
Here’s a peek at the Dymatize Xpand formula.
The Rocket formula has more active ingredients but it’s safe to say that some of those ingredients are negligible considering the amounts. However, there are a few ingredients listed in Rocket that really got my attention.
I love the fact that Rocket includes 3 grams of creatine and 1.5 grams of beta alanine. You can’t beat this combination and there are enough active ingredients (beta alanine and creatine) to make a difference in your workouts. There have been numerous strength and muscle building studies on the effects of creatine and beta alanine which I am now a big believer.
You can read some of the studies:
Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17136944
Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on aerobic power, ventilatory and lactate thresholds, and time to exhaustion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16953366
I’ve used taurine and glycine in the past and both seemed to work. I used Taurine to help improve muscle contraction (I was having muscle cramps at the time) and it worked. I used to take in about 2 grams of Taurine before a workout and my cramps disappeared.
I have tried Glycine in the form of Gakic (Muscle Techs version). I’ve written a review of Gakic and you can view it here. I’m not a big Muscle Tech fan but the stuff works. I’ve tried it for over 12 weeks and I can say that I felt a difference in my overall strength levels. When stacked with Arginine, Glycine “may” reduce muscle fatigue levels which may explain why it helps boosts strength levels.
The only thing with the Rocket formula is that there is only 1 gram of active glycine which I’m not sure is enough to see any quantitative results. When I took Gakic I was taking in about 7 to 10 grams of Glycine and Arginine (combined) compared to 1 gram of glycine and 2 grams of arginine in the Rocket formula (per serving).
There’s really only one way to find out if something works and that’s to give it a go. I purchased a two month supply for $95.00 Canadian. The only flavour they had was citrus crush.
The taste could be better as it was a little bitter but considering the other pre workout drinks I’ve had in the past it was comparable. I’ll give it 3 out of 5.
I didn’t get the pre workout jitters that I used to get when I took caffeine infused pre workout supplements which is a good thing. I have to be very careful these days that I don’t get too much into myself which may cause me to go a little over board with the weight. I have pre-existing injuries that I don’t want to aggravate with heavy weight so I can’t get overly jacked when I hit the gym.
However, this stuff (Rocket) put me in the right frame of mind in addition to warming my body up a bit (cayenne and cinnamon) without going overboard. I felt light, energized and ready for my workouts without the nervous or jittery feeling of other caffeine infused pre work drinks.
In terms of strength gains I noticed that after my third week I was able to perform more repetitions with more weight.
Again, I have to be very careful using heavy weight (to not aggravate pre-existing injuries) so I gauge my strength gains on the quality of my repetitions. I was able to perform slower and more controlled repetitions using slightly heavier weight. This was a positive sign that the stuff was working.
I noticed that my muscles were harder and fuller. Of course my diet was dialed in so I’m quite certain it was the synergistic effect of the food (nutrients), creatine, glycine, arginine and beta alanine.
In addition, the stuff is great when you’re shedding body fat. There is only 15 calories per serving with 2 grams of carbohydrates (waxy maize) and no sugars.
In terms of Rockets effectiveness I’m going to give it 4 out of 5. It’s not quite as powerful as Dymatize Xpand but it’s pretty darn close. I’m going to be using it again.
I paid about $49 Canadian for a 57 serving supply at GNC (with the gold card). I think it costs about $69 Canadian without a gold card. This equals out to about $.85 per serving with a gold card or $1.21 per serving without a gold card.
Other similar products and the prices are:
1) Dymatize Xpand: $67.00 Canadian for 37 servings (10 gram servings) – Dymatize main website: http://www.dymatize.com/store/workoutsupport/XPAND
The price per serving is $1.81 per serving.
2) Pre JYM by JYM (pre workout supplement of the year by bodybuilding.com): $64.29 Canadian (at bodybuilding.com) for 30 servings. The price per serving is $2.14
3) Pre Kaged by Kaged Muscle: $70.30 Canadian for 30 servings at bodybuilding.com/
Price per serving is $2.34.
4) N.O Xplode by BSN: $39.61 Canadian for 30 servings (at bodybuilding.com)
Price per serving is $1.32.
5) Assault by MusclePharm: $36.17 Canadian for 30 servings (at bodybuilding.com)
Price per serving is $1.20
I like the fact that there are 57 servings in one tub. Considering the price (even without a GNC gold card) it is very price effective.
Given the amount of active ingredients in Athletic Alliance Rockets formula and its price per serving it is probably the lowest cost pre workout supplement on the market today that can hold its own against the big name brands. Rockets formula is caffeine free but the nature of the formula gives you a slight warm buzz without the jitters that caffeine gives you.
All of the active ingredients in Rockets formula have been shown to work. Try and compare this formula and price with your favorite pre workout formulas and see how it stacks up – I’m sure you’ll see that its price and formula is spot on.
If you’re looking for a caffeine free pre workout formula that gives you great pre workout energy, a fantastic strength boost and a ton of mental focus you might want to look into testing Athletic Alliance’s Rocket formula a try.
I give it a solid 4 out 5 five.
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All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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